Epic Games valued at about $32 billion in funding from Sony, Lego firm


FILE PHOTO: The Epic Games logo, maker of the popular video game "Fortnite", is pictured on a screen in this picture illustration August 14, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) -Epic Games said on Monday it had raised $2 billion from Sony Group Corp and the family owned holding company behind the Lego Group, valuing the "Fortnite" creator at $31.5 billion.

Sony, an existing investor, and the Kirkbi investment company each invested $1 billion, Epic said, with the fundraising to help advance a metaverse partnership the company had entered into with the Lego Group earlier https://www.epicgames.com/site/en-US/news/the-lego-group-and-epic-games-team-up-to-build-a-place-for-kids-to-play-in-the-metaverse this month.

Metaverse is the latest buzzword in the technology space, and broadly refers to the idea of a shared virtual platform that people can access through different devices and where they can move through digital environments.

Deals are picking up pace in the segment as tech giants see it to be a major innovation and revenue generator.

Microsoft in January agreed to buy "Call of Duty" maker Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, marking the biggest acquisition in the gaming sector and boosting the industry's bet on the metaverse.

"Fortnite" is already considered to be part of the metaverse, and the investment in Epic will give Sony a chance to delve deeper and capitalize on that business.

Epic Games has largely lost a trial last year over whether Apple's payment rules for apps were anticompetitive. That decision found Apple had suitable reasons to force some app makers such as Epic to use its payment system and take commissions of 15% to 30% on their sales.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath and Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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